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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 29th Mar 2016 - West Berkshire to launch £1.5m crowdfunding campaign for new brewery, visitor centre and first pub
West Berkshire to launch £1.5m crowdfunding campaign for new brewery, visitor centre and first pub: West Berkshire Brewery (WBB) is to launch a £1.5m fund-raise on crowdfunding campaign Seedrs to pave the way for a new brewery, visitor centre and its first pub. The company, led by beer and pub entrepreneur David Bruce will use the proceeds for several landmark projects, enabling it to maintain and accelerate its current growth trajectory – as WBB responds to continuing strong demand for its beers beyond its Thames Valley heartland. The process will pave the way for the construction of a larger brewery. It will also fund its first pub as well as fuelling a new range of craft beers under its Renegade Brewery label, which will sit alongside its traditional range of English ales, including flagship bitter Good Old Boy. Bruce, who has been chairman since 2013, said: “In the past two years this business has gone ballistic with its expansion: last year sales grew 23%; they are up 19% this year already. So we are motoring. But we remain very ambitious and feel like we’re just getting started, and we have this great opportunity to build on our success and momentum. However, to do that we need to move the brewery to a bigger home and invest in some other landmark initiatives that will help create a much bigger business and fuel our growth. And so we are inviting all like-minded people who wish to share this experience to join us.” The Seedrs campaign will run for 60 days. Shares will be priced at £3 per share, with a minimum purchase of five shares (equating to a minimum spend of £15). The process is expected to value the company at just over £7m. The company has identified a new brewery site close to its current location in the village of Yattendon, Berkshire. The new site will deliver a brewery with ten times the brewing capacity of WBB’s existing facility as well as a state-of-the-art bottling, canning and kegging line, plus a visitor centre and on-site restaurant. Founded by Dave and Helen Maggs in 1995, the business has annual sales of approximately £2m. Its beers, which have collected more than 40 industry awards, can be found in Fortnum & Mason, Tesco and Waitrose as well as in many pubs and bars, including listings with groups Enterprise Inns, Mitchells & Butlers and Punch Taverns. Good Old Boy is the official beer of the Henley Regatta, Reading Football Club and golf’s BMW PGA Championship, at Wentworth.

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